Tomorrow's Theater ... Today

Shaft (6/14/2019)
"Dark Phoenix" might be the final X-Men movie before Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios takes over the franchise, but some of its stars are already attached to take on other movie franchises. Alexandra Shipp took over the role of Storm from Halle Berry starting with "X-Men: Apocalypse," and reprised her role in "Dark Phoenix," and also has another new movie coming next week. Alexandra Shipp will costar in "Shaft" as the girlfriend of the third and youngest Shafter (Jessie Usher), the son of Samuel L. Jackson's John Shaft II (who made his debut in the 2000 movie). Richard Roundtree will also reprise his role as the original Shaft from the three 1970s movies.




Spider-Man: Far from Home (7/2/2019)
Although the X-Men movies have always existed in a different "cinematic universe" than the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they're still based on Marvel Comics. Following Disney's acquisition of the Fox film and TV properties, the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters are expected to be integrated in the near future. We still don't know for sure when that might happen, but the trailers for next month's "Spider-Man: Far from Home" suggest one way in which the two "universes" could be merged. That is, however, presuming that we can trust that what Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio character says in this trailer is true (that's from another universe). (In the comics, Mysterio's entire modus operandi is that he creates illusions and fake stories.) Of course, this could all be a double or triple fake, maybe Mysterio is telling the truth (despite normally being a liar), and "Spider-Man: Far from Home" is setting up new "X-Men" movies.




The Kitchen (8/9/2019)
Tiffany Haddish is obviously best known as a comedian, having made her big screen splash with 2017's "Girls Trip," which was followed by comedies like "Uncle Drew," "Night School," "Nobody's Fool," and voice roles in "The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part" and this week's "The Secret Life of Pets 2." (She's also voicing one of the birds in "The Angry Birds Movie 2.") We're going to soon see Tiffany Haddish switch genres drastically, however, as she and Melissa McCarthy will both switch gears from comedy in "The Kitchen." Based on a Vergigo Comics mini-series, "The Kitchen" is a 1970s crime story set in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City (unrelatedly also home to Marvel's Daredevil). Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, and Elisabeth Moss star as three housewives who team up to take over what their husbands leave behind when they're sent to prison.




The Angry Birds Movie 2 (8/16/2019)
Tiffany Haddish is so in demand this year that she's not just provided a voice in one animated sequel, but two. Besides this week's "The Secret Life of Pets 2," Tiffany Haddish is also providing the voice of a bird named Debbie in "The Angry Birds Movie 2" this August. Tiffany Haddish will be just one of the new voice actors in the sequel, along with Awkwafina, Rachel Bloom ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"), Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, Leslie Jones ("Saturday Night Live"), and rapper-turned-actress Nicki Minaj. The voice actors who are returning from the first movie include Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, and Jason Sudeikis.




IT Chapter Two (9/6/2019)
Even as director Andy Muschietti was directing his adaptation of the first half of Stephen King's "IT" for its 2017 release, he made it clear in various interviews that he was hoping to cast his "Mama" star Jessica Chastain as the adult version of Beverly. Also in 2017, Jessica Chastain was cast as a mysterious character in this week's "Dark Phoenix," the final "X-Men" movie featuring various actors, including James McAvoy as the younger Professor Xavier. Then, about a year ago in 2018, casting ramped up for "IT Chapter Two," and one of the results was that it became a de facto reunion project for "Dark Phoenix," as James McAvoy was cast as the adult version of Bill. You can see the first trailer for "IT Chapter Two" below, which bypasses the normal trailer format, by mostly showing a creepy scene from the film instead.




The Addams Family (10/11/2019) (Nick Kroll)
Like many animated movies, "The Secret Life of Pets 2" has a large ensemble voice cast with nearly 20 name stars, and one of them is comedian Nick Kroll (as an evil human circus owner named Sergei). The focus in "The Secret Life of Pets 2" is obviously on the various animal characters, but Nick Kroll has another animated movie coming out this fall where he will be more of a central character. Nick Kroll will be providing the voice of Uncle Fester in the animated reboot of "The Addams Family." Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron are probably the movie's stars (as Gomez and Morticia), and they'll also be joined by Chloe Grace Moretz (as Wednesday), Finn Wolfhard (from "Stranger Things") as her brother Pugsley, and Bette Midler as Grandmama.




The New Mutants (4/3/2020)
"Dark Phoenix" is described as the last "X-Men" movie before the franchise gets taken over by Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige, but it's not actually the last such mutant movie. That is going to be the repeatedly delayed spinoff "The New Mutants," which was originally supposed to come out in April... of 2018. "The New Mutants" was a long-running comic book series in the 1980s, and also the comic book in which Deadpool (also Cable and Domino from "Deadpool 2") first appeared. The trailer for "The New Mutants" shows that it's more of a horror film than a straight up "superhero movie" (although the movie is also undergoing reshoots before release next year). "The New Mutants" drew its cast from a few popular TV shows, including Maisie Williams of "Game of Thrones," Charlie Heaton from "Stranger Things," and Henry Zaga from "13 Reasons Why."